Pan Bagnat literally means ‘wet bread’ in the Occitan Language of the area surrounding Nice. It’s often misspelt ‘Pain’ Bagnat, as in the usual term for bread in French which is how I thought the spelling should be, but no, ‘pan’ is correct. As Provençal it gets, the flavours and textures will add a touch of rustic French charm to your picnic platters.This is definitely my kind of sandwich – marinated and fresh vegetables with added tang squished between crusty bread and let chill overnight.’Wet bread’ doesn’t sound too nice does it, but don’t be put off.
Generally a pan Bagnat will feature a sort of salade Nicoise in sandwich form, or cured meats and cheeses, probably tuna. But I reckon this all veggie version is tasty and traditional enough without. You can get super creative too – make a very large one, layer it up carefully inside, and then cut slices of it like a cake. it’s definitely got some ‘wow’.
Pan Bagnat (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
- 1 ciabatta (as crispy as possible)
- 2 tbsp fresh green tapenade
- A variety of antipasti vegetables – peppers, courgettes, mushrooms, aubergine or artichokes
- 1 ripe tomato, sliced
- Basil leaves, roughly torn
- Freshly ground pepper
- Sprinkle of wine vinegar
– Split the ciabatta in half lengthwise
– Rip out some of the doughy middle, but do leave a little behind
– Spread the tapenade over both sides
– Layer on the antipasti vegetables (make sure they’ve been a little drained)